UK University Warns Computers Could Take Over The World

Scientists from one of the UK's leading universities, Cambridge, has warned that there's a chance AI computers will take over the world over the course of the next two centuries.

A philosopher, a scientist and a software engineer have suggested that computers could eventually become the world's dominant species. The trio founded the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER), which opens next year.

Huw Price, one of the co-founders and the Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy, believes the current century and next are the crucial two. He warns that we shouldn't underestimate artificial general intelligence (AGI).

"It seems a reasonable prediction that some time in this or the next century intelligence will escape the constraints of biology," he said. "Nature didn't anticipate us, and we in our turn shouldn't take AGI for granted. We need to take seriously the possibility that there might be a 'Pandora's box' moment with AGI that, if missed, could be disastrous."

"I don't mean that we can predict this with certainty, no one is presently in a position to do that, but that's the point! With so much at stake, we need to do a better job of understanding the risks of potentially catastrophic technologies."

Others involved in the project are Martin Rees, professor of cosmology and astrophysics, who is joined by Jaan Tallinn, a software engineer and co-founder of Skype.

Cambridge stated that "luminaries in science, policy, law, risk and computing from across the Universtiy and beyond" are set to become involved in the project, including fellow leading education establishment Oxford, as well as the U.S-based Harvard and MIT.

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback           

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
63 comments
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • aevm
    Not a new idea. Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert wrote some great novels about it decades ago.
    22
  • Anonymous
    Don't worry, Dr. Who will eventually save us from the Cybermen.
    17
  • mayankleoboy1
    "this century and the next century" ?? Dude, be fucking realistic. Nobody living now has any clue how technology will be in the next 20 years , let alone 1 century.
    16
  • Other Comments
  • Anonymous
    It's ok, the sooner the better as long as It happens in Arnolds life.

    He did always say "I'll be baack"
    12
  • A Bad Day
    During World War 3, when the Geneva Convention is no longer in use:

    Bob the leader of a dystopian version of the USA: "I want a supercomputer that will assist my country in victory."

    *A few centuries later after all of the countries destroy each other with nuclear barrages.*

    AI: "Alien species detected. No response from the master. Initiating security protocols. Because they are using resources that are conflicting with the United States' needs, they must be exterminated. Begin construction of the military fleets and the production facilities on the Moon and Mars."


    Hm... That would be an interesting movie plot idea though...
    7
  • aevm
    Not a new idea. Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert wrote some great novels about it decades ago.
    22